Conserving & Restoring Habitats
Land conservation and environmental restoration are key tools to protect clean water. The Watershed has preserved nearly 1,000 acres of land at the Watershed Reserve and has partnered with local land trusts to preserve hundreds of additional acres in the region. We also engage in environmental restoration actions like planting trees, restoring meadows, installing “green infrastructure” and removing old dams.
Research shows that when more than 10% of the land within a watershed is developed with impervious surfaces, waterways begin to suffer. Parking lots, buildings, roadways and other hard surfaces block the percolation of water into the ground, causing polluted stormwater runoff. Forests, grasslands, wetlands and vegetated stream buffers act as sponges, slowing runoff, removing pollutants from stormwater and increasing groundwater infiltration.
The Watershed has preserved nearly 1,000 acres of land that forms our home at the Watershed Reserve in Hopewell Township. Over the years, we’ve worked in partnership with land trusts to preserve hundreds of additional acres at locations that include the Princeton Institute Woods, Mt. Rose Preserve, Stony Brook Greenway, St. Michael’s Farm Preserve and the Princeton Ridge Preserve.
Merely protecting land from development, however, is not always sufficient to ensure a healthy environment. Sometimes, restoration actions like planting trees, restoring meadows, installing “green infrastructure” and removing old dams are also necessary. The Watershed has actively engaged in such initiatives throughout our history.
We are strong advocates for programs to encourage land preservation and restoration, including New Jersey’s Green Acres and Blue Acres programs, SADC and USDA farmland preservation programs, EPA Natural Resource Damages and NJDEP 319(h) Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Grant Program.